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Stress Management for Living, Teaching, & Parenting

RRSystem in Action

Do you think I did the right thing?


I am an art teacher at an elementary school. I have three 4th grade classes that are usually difficult to manage. I have recently asked a guest artist to come and do a Jackson Pollock lesson with them. She is supplying all the paint and canvases for this lesson, except one. I also have one very large (6 X 8) canvas that only one class will get to paint. The other two classes will have to work on smaller individual canvases. This lesson requires the students to be on their best behavior and be good listeners as we will be “splatter” painting. I told the classes they could “earn” the big canvas.  I said that the class with the … >>>


Using procedures to gain the cooperation of a passive-aggressive student

My teaching partner and I have a little girl in our grade one classroom this year who is very stubborn and actually downright defiant in a passive aggressive way.  Right from the beginning of the year she would deliberately do the opposite of whatever the teacher was asking or quietly not do anything at all. When everyone was asked to print certain letters on the chalkboard she would draw pictures. When asked to get out her calendar binder, she would get out something entirely different. Then just before the end of calendar time, she would quickly take out her book and finish up what was expected. When everyone else would stand to celebrate a classmate’s birthday by singing a … >>>


Welcoming a new student

One day last February we learned that a new boy would be joining our grade one class.  In an effort to be proactive, my teaching partner, Darlene, planned a class meeting the day before he arrived.  She wanted to encourage the students to welcome the new child and she also hoped to avoid a situation with which we’ve had some difficulty in the past.

In previous years when we’ve had a new addition to our class, we’ve sometimes experienced the following problem:  If the new youngster starts to feel anxious and begins to cling to Mom when it’s time for her to leave, we’ve been surprised to see that there have always been one or two other kids in the … >>>


Role-playing Level C – It’s a good idea!

Sherry, a fabulous grade six teacher at my school, mentioned to me one day that when she sees a child operating on Level B in her classroom, she uses the opportunity to do some role-playing.  After she has asked the student to assess the level of their own behavior (and they can accurately assess it as Level B,) she says very respectfully to the child, “Now, would you like an opportunity to try this again––operating at a higher level?”

This week I tried using Sherry’s idea in my grade one classroom.  Here’s one example:

Two boys sat down on the carpet near each other as we were getting ready to read a story. The boys weren’t right beside … >>>


Some “evidence” that Discipline without Stress really gets kids thinking!

This week I had a neat experience while teaching a grade 7 student at my newest job at the middle school. I just thought I’d share.

For those who don’t know me, I have three teaching positions, all of which are shared with the same partner. Darlene and I share a grade 1 classroom, each working one end of the week, and on our other days we share two literacy positions, working with individual students at an alternate high school and a regular middle school. It’s hectic but we love it!  At our high school and middle school jobs, we work with a great range of students, some struggling with courses like English 10, but most with much lower skill … >>>


Sharing My Latest Discipline without Stress Success!

Posted by J.E., a member of the Discipline without Stress mailring.

Here is my latest success:
Last Friday, three third graders left their homeroom in route to my class (science) and on the way, chose to yell and scream and play an impromptu game of tag. (At my school, we don’t walk the kids from class to class, and all the classroom doors lead outside, so they were coming across the playground.) Upon hearing the commotion, their homeroom teacher flew out of her room and wound up in front of mine, fuming at the gall of these kids.

Since she got there first, I let her handle it. She said, nearly yelling, “Which one of you children decided to … >>>


Tell me how procedures are used in a discipline situation.

I don’t understand how the teaching of procedures can be used in a discipline situation.  Can you give me an example?


Having used Discipline without Stress for several years now, I understand the importance of teaching procedures at the start of the school year. Even so, I still find that I sometimes forget this important step in my teaching and then suffer the consequences. Luckily though, I also know how Dr. Marshall would suggest remedying such a situation. He would suggest backtracking–to teach the procedures that I should have taught in the first place! Here is an example of one such impromptu “lesson” which turned out to be extremely helpful for the remainder of the school year.

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How can I make the Discipline without Stress levels meaningful to students?


I am still waiting for my Discipline without Stress book to arrive, but this morning I introduced the system to my class anyway. Even though it’s almost the end of the year, I have such big behavior problems that I decided I had nothing to lose and everything to gain! However, I must have done something wrong because the very students who need this system most, were the ones who didn’t pay attention to the discussion and mocked the levels right from the very start. Any suggestions for making this system real to kids who don’t pay much attention to things like this?


Here is an example of just one small discussion I have had with my own >>>


I am trying to use Discipline without Stress but my students will not listen to me!

I have recently taken over a classroom, as a substitute for three weeks. The teacher of this classroom has been on leave for some time and the students have had many temporary teachers. I feel that I am using all the correct educational practices but the discipline problems in this class are extensive. I am trying to use Discipline without Stress, but no matter what I do, these students will not listen to me very much. What is the problem?

The problem is the history of the class–you are one of their many teachers. They have had no stability, no structure and what’s more, they know that you are not their regular teacher. They know that … >>>


Using a positive challenge!

My teaching partner and I have always provided a home reading program for our grade one students. We give each one a ziplock bag in which to store their home reading books and every morning they make an exchange, taking two new books home.

Well, that’s the theory of it anyway! In reality, we have never had a high rate of consistent and continued participation in this program. Although in the first few weeks of any particular school year, most families manage to send the home reading bag back and forth on a regular basis, as time goes on, fewer and fewer students actually participate to full advantage. They don’t maintain the routine of returning the bag on a daily … >>>


How can I get immature students to listen and behave themselves?

I am a student teacher in a 1st grade class. Love the kids but I have a really hard time getting them to listen during our morning meeting time. At least three are ADD but some are just immature.

The kids seem to enjoy the activities and greetings I present but the inattention/etc is driving me nuts! There is a green/yellow/red card system set up for each student that I’ve threatened to use and I sent one jumpy kid back to his desk because he was disturbing us. Any other suggestions?

The first priority in a DWS classroom is to take care of classroom management. Perhaps your students have never had specific procedures established for conducting a morning … >>>

Dr. Marvin (Marv) Marshall
Phone: 714.220.1882
PO Box 11 Los Alamitos, CA 90720
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